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Federal dust bill settling in Senate after House approval

WASHINGTON—U.S. farmers are watching as House-approved HR 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, settles in the Senate for consideration.

The bill, which was written by Virginia Rep. Robert Hurt (R-5th) and Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, passed by a vote of 268-150 in the house in December. It would limit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate naturally occurring dust, or “nuisance dust.”

Such legislation “is the best way to provide certainty to farmers, ranchers and rural America that their activities will not be unduly regulated by conditions beyond their control and for substances for which adverse health effects cannot be truly established,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

AFBF has noted that the EPA has admitted it cannot conclusively establish a link between “nuisance dust” and adverse human health effects.

“EPA admits there are limitations to the studies it cites, which casts doubt on its validity to support additional regulation,” Stallman said. “Should such a link be established, the bill would allow EPA to regulate.”

Hurt said the bill stands to provide “regulatory relief” to farmers and other business operators at a time when it is needed.

“Over the past three years, the American entrepreneurial spirit has been crippled by federal government regulations, resulting in millions of Americans out of work, and many businesses closing their doors,” he said. “At a time when too many Central and Southside Virginians are struggling to find jobs, we must continue to promote policies that will remove the federal government as a barrier to job creation in order to foster an economic environment that both provides an opportunity for job creators to hire and incentivizes them to expand.”

Contact Tracy Taylor Grondine, 202-406-3642, or Mace Thornton, 202-406-3641, AFBF public relations.


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